Prepare to indulge in the most luxuriously creamy homemade ice cream experience with this vanilla frozen custard recipe. Each scoop promises a velvety, smooth texture and a rich vanilla essence that will elevate your dessert game to new heights. It’s not just ice cream; it’s a guarantee of pure, creamy bliss! We love frozen custard in our house. I can’t wait for you to make it and see what I’m talking about.

There is something timeless and comforting about vanilla, and when it’s incorporated into a frozen custard, the result is simply heavenly. This recipe is simple, yet sophisticated. The smoothness of this custard is something I’ve perfected over time, and it’s a pleasure to share this creamy wonder with my fellow dessert enthusiasts.

Freshly churned vanilla frozen custard in an ice cream container

The chemistry of frozen custard

The key lies in the delicate balance and interaction of ingredients. The egg yolks act as emulsifiers, lending a smooth and creamy texture to the custard. When heated gently, the proteins in the yolks thicken the mixture without curdling. The addition of vanilla, not only infuses flavor, but also enhances the custard’s aromatic profile. Proper chilling before churning allows the mixture to mature, resulting in a richer flavor.

Why is vanilla added to frozen custard?

Vanilla extract is added to frozen custard to impart a warm, complex flavor and aroma. It balances the richness of the cream and egg yolks, creating a harmonious and inviting taste.

Can you overcook custard?

Yes, custard can be overcooked. Custard will curdle if it’s cooked over 180 degrees, leading to a grainy texture. To avoid this, cook the custard over medium heat and keep stirring constantly. Remove from heat as soon as it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Is it possible to make frozen custard without an ice cream machine?

While an ice cream machine is ideal for achieving the perfect texture, you can manually make frozen custard by freezing the mixture and stirring it vigorously every 30 minutes to break up ice crystals until its uniformly frozen.

How long can you keep homemade frozen custard in the freezer?

Homemade custard can keep in the freezer for up to 3 months, but is best consumed within the first month for freshness and texture.

Freshly churned vanilla frozen custard in an ice cream container being spooned out

How to temper eggs

  • Heat the cream, milk and sugar in a sauce pan
  • Crack and separate the egg yolks into a bowl, then whisk them up
  • Once the cream mixture is piping hot, but not yet boiling, slowly pour in about 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks while you are rapidly whisking the yolks
  • Repeat that process 5 times
  • Slowly pour the egg yolk mixture into the sauce pan with the remaining cream mixture, while rapidly whisking the cream

By following this process, you will cook the egg yolks without having to worry about them solidifying.

slowly pouring the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks
slowly pouring the egg yolk mixture into the hot cream mixture

What is in frozen custard?

Heavy whipping cream

Provides the creamy, rich base for the custard.

Whole milk

Lightens the texture of the custard, complementing the cream.

Granulated sugar

Sweetens the custard and affects the freezing point for a smoother texture.

Egg yolks

Essential for thickening and creating the custard’s characteristic velvety texture.

Vanilla extract

The star flavoring, vanilla adds a classic, warm, and inviting aroma.

Fine sea salt

A pinch enhances the overall flavor profile of the custard.

Freshly churned vanilla frozen custard in an ice cream container being spooned out

Can you make custard ahead of time?

Yes! Custard can sit in the fridge for up to 2 days before churning. In fact, resting in the fridge a bit longer will only make the flavors meld more, creating a richer custard. I like to leave mine in the fridge overnight at the very least.

Recommended Equipment

Recipe You May Love

Vanilla Frozen Custard

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
Servings: 6 servings
This will be the creamiest homemade ice cream you will ever make. I guarantee it!


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt


  • In a medium saucepan, combine heavy whipping cream, milk & sugar, place over medium heat
  • Cook until simmering
  • While getting the mixture up to temperature, take egg yolks in a separate bowl and whisk until a little lighter in color
  • Once cream mixture is warmed, take a ¼ measuring cup and slowly pour the cream mixture into the egg yolk whole while constantly whisking. Repeat 5 times
  • Once the egg yolks are tempered, slowly pour egg mixture into sauce pan while constantly whisking
  • Add vanilla and salt
  • Simmer until thickened, stirring constantly
  • Pour mixture into a bowl with a lid and place in fridge for 8 hours to cool, or longer. This can sit in your fridge for 2 days
  • Once cooled, churn in an ice cream machine until frozen
  • Can enjoy like soft serve now or place in a bowl and back in the freezer for a couple hours for a more traditional frozen ice cream


Calories: 484kcal Carbohydrates: 38g Protein: 6g Fat: 35g Saturated Fat: 21g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 289mg Sodium: 52mg Potassium: 159mg Sugar: 38g Vitamin A: 1492IU Vitamin C: 0.5mg Calcium: 126mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.